John Jasper, a brooding, moody choirmaster at a finishing school in Victorian England, maintains a secret life that includes frequenting an opium den. His tortured mind becomes obsessed with a young student, Rosa Bud, who is engaged to his nephew Edwin Drood. When she senses the intensity of Jasper's feelings, she becomes frightened of him and avoids his company. When the mixed-blooded Neville Landless and his twin sister Helena arrive at the school from Ceylon, Neville and Edwin take an immediate dislike to one another over Rosa's affections. Although they quarrel and make up, Edwin disappears, and suspicion logically falls on the quick-tempered Neville. Written by
After the first dinner party, as David Manners and Douglass Montgomery are walking down the street to go home, the shadow of the boom mike can be seen in the background on the side of the buildings. See more »
Universal in 1935 took on 'The Mystery Of Edwin Drood' a uncompleted Dickens novel. This is the first sound version, after two (2) silent adaptations and made in their 'Classic Horror' style. The film featured their current stock company, including David Manners and Valerie Hobson and the powerful presence of free lancer Claude Rains. These are all professionals and deliver what is expected of them.
As in the other 'Classic Horror' adaptations of the time this film has a certain look. Every studio had a 'look' for their efforts. Grimy streets for Warner Brothers gangster films, pristine palaces and with C. B. DeMille, washrooms at Paramount. M.G.M. all gloss and polish in almost every production and R.K.O. art-deco grace. With Universal, decrepit buildings, cobwebs, drawing rooms with lots of stuff to knock over with crisp cinematography.
For details of the plot either watch the film or read one of the other reviewers, they give a blow by blow description and plenty of detail, more is not needed here. What can be said it is too bad that for some reason Universal keeps these films buried in their vaults along with some 600 films from Paramounts classic period. Shown today on TCM (12/05/2011) this is the first time I can recall seeing it since the early 1960s! It does not disappoint, the print being in excellent condition. Hopefully more of these efforts will be released for viewing on TCM and possibly DVD.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?